What is PMRD?
Pierre Morell Research Day (PMRD) was established in 2004 to honor the memory of Dr. Pierre Morell (1941-2003). Dr. Morell was the director of the Curriculum of Neurobiology from 1978-1988 and was integral to the growth and prestige the program has achieved. The Pierre Morell Research Day allows all current students in the Curriculum of Neurobiology to showcase their most recent work. Neurobiology students work in labs from a range of departments including Pharmacology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Cell and Molecular Physiology, and Psychology. PMRD is our opportunity to maintain a sense of identity as Curriculum of Neurobiology students while displaying to the UNC community the diversity of research topics being investigated. Additionally, the students nominate and vote on the invited speaker, allowing us to hear the research, we think is most exciting each year. The PRMD is a student-organized day consisting of a seminar, lunch, poster session, and student speakers.
This year's invited guest was Dr. Huda Akil, the Co-Director and Research Professor at the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute at the University of Michigan. Research in the Akil laboratory focuses on understanding the neurobiology of emotions, including pain, anxiety, depression and substance abuse. The event kicked-off with Breakfast with curriculum students. Then the seminar began with a packed audience with an Introduction from UNC Faculty Mentorship Award recipient, Dr. Mohanish Deshmukh. There were two Student Talks, the first Megan Morgan-Smith from Dr. Snider's lab on “GSK-3 REgulates Migration and Morphogenesis of Cortical Neurons” and the second from Reginald Cannady from Dr. Hodge's lab on “Positive Modulation of Amygdala AMPA Receptors Selectively Potentiates Operant Alcohol Self-administration” and finally Dr. Akil's talk on “The Depressed Brain: Here lies the Winter of Our Discontent.” The successful day continued with Lunch with Students and Faculty, Poster and Award Session, Happy Hour and dinner at Aldo & Carol's home.
Dr. Akil has since sent her thanks to the Neurobiology students, "I want to thank you for your wonderful hospitality during my visit to UNC! It was truly memorable. I greatly enjoyed interacting with the students, listening to the wonderful talks, seeing the posters, and the magical evening at Aldo & Carol's home."